The Slovak government has decided on a nationwide lockdown for two weeks from Thursday. This was announced by Vice Prime Minister Richard Sulik after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Contrary to previous plans, there are no exception rules for people who are vaccinated against Covid-19, said the minister of the TASR news agency.
According to the government plans, however, the schools should remain open. The condition for this is regular corona tests, as Sulik explained. It is still possible to go to work, but a test will be compulsory from next Monday. According to Sulik, however, all restaurants and shops will be closed with the exception of those that are essential for food and other basic needs.
On Wednesday, Slovakia exceeded the mark of more than 10,000 confirmed new corona infections in one day for the first time. Overall, the health authorities in Bratislava reported 10,315 new cases in the 5.5 million EU country.
President Zuzana Caputova had previously called for such a lockdown in an unusually emotional appeal. “We are currently the worst country in the world in terms of the number of new infections in terms of population. The hospitals are at the end of their capacity and have to cut their treatments, the exhausted health workers are asking for help,” said the popular president.
Health experts and hospitals have been sounding the alarm for days. Emergency care for seriously ill patients is on the brink of collapse because, after years of financial savings, there is a lack of staff to operate the medical equipment.
Sulik explained that, contrary to a recommendation by the national council of experts, the schools remain open in principle even in the lockdown, his party has enforced by threatening a veto within the coalition. His party also provides the Minister of Education.